What I Read in May

April was a slower reading month for me, so I was a bit worried coming into May that I was losing steam.  I managed to read a solid 9 books in May, though, so I’m happy with that!

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When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

I completely devoured this book.  It was so beautiful, full of magical realism, and a truly important story.  It’s a subtle romance between Miel, a strange girl who spilled out of a water tower and has a rose growing from her wrist, and Sam, who paints moons and hangs them in the trees around town.  I can’t recommend this book enough!

Illumination Night by Alice Hoffman

It’s been a while since I read Alice Hoffman.  (By that, I mean read Practical Magic in junior high.)  This was a quick read– interesting at times, ultimately a story about people.  There are parents worried about their young child’s lack of physical growth, but with their own issues as well, an old lady and her rebellious granddaughter sent as her caretaker.  I felt like it lacked enough resolution for me to really connect with it.

The One by Kiera Cass

The Selection Series really went downhill for me.  This was my least favorite of the original trio.  I know there’s one more in the core series, but I don’t think I’ll be reading it.  People that like these books seem to prefer just the story of America and Maxon.  Knowing he was going to ultimately choose her, the book just felt like filler to get to that point.

The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

I have fond memories of reading The Wrath & the Dawn, since I did so while I soaked in the bathtub of my Kyoto hotel room.  I preferred this, its sequel, because of how much more magic played into the story.  While the first in the duology was more of a straight-forward retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, The Rose and the Dagger found its own story.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

The Shadow and Bone trilogy really surprised me.  Once I got into the first ook, I truly enjoyed every moment of the quest for the magical beasts that would amplify Alina, the Sun Summoner’s, powers.  I loved the Darking, twisted and complicated.  We get the history of Morozova in this book and finally some resolution to the Alina and Mal story.  Ruin and Rising was extremely satisfying!

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

This was my least favorite of the Miss Peregrine’s series, I think.  It felt like a lot of filler, as did the second book, really.  It was a satisfying ending if you really enjoy this series, but I think I just didn’t?  I was intrigued by the first book, but after that the story really felt dragged out for me.

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

After When the Moon Was Ours, I was DYING to read more by this author.  I can’t say that this one captivated me quite as much, in fact, I found it a little hard to get into.  The alternating perspective between two main characters is not as distracting as the fact that one of them speaks French and the other Spanish.  It’s about rival traveling performance troupes– both of which seem so cool!  Once I got into it, I loved it.  There is a heavy dose of magical realism at the end instead of throughout, which is a slightly jarring if you’re not expecting it!

An Ember in the Ashes by Saaba Tahir

Wow, this one really surprised me!  Again, I found it a bit difficult to get into.   Once we get into the world of the Masks, things get really interesting.  The story feels familiar, but unique.  It’s about Laia, whose brother is captured by the empire.  She joins the resistance to get him back, but is sent as a slave spy to a deadly military academy where she meets Elias, who struggles morally with his place in the empire.  It’s a great adventure, and I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel!

Follow along on goodreads to see what I’m reading now!

June TV

It took 6 months this year, but finally I’ve got a bunch of TV premieres I’m really excited about!  Here’s what I’m looking forward to this month.

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Who else got this little surprise from Dr. Morello?!  image via Netflix

Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

Every summer I binge this newest season.  I’m really sad that we won’t have Samira Wiley this season, but the cliffhanger we ended on last year!!  I actually remember where we left off this time.  From what I’ve read so far, the entire season takes place over 3 days as the prison riot unfolds.  I’m not sure how I feel about this, but I do love OITNB and I’m excited to see where they go with this!  We don’t have to wait long!  This will be available for binging June 9th.

Orphan Black (BBC America)

I’ve been waiting for what feel like forever for the final season of Orphan Black.  I started watching this show kind of randomly after a friend made an off-handed recommendation praising Tatiana Maslany.  I have been a loyal fan throughout and I’m dying to see how everything ends!  I actually don’t want it to end, but I’ll be glad to have it back in my life on June 10th!

90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? (TLC)

Wow am I glad I chose to go with PS Vue to keep this channel!  I just love 90 Day Fiancé, but if Happy Ever After? is all I can get, I’ll take it!  Most of my favorites from this show seem to be happily married, and this spinoff deals with the drama.  Of the returning group, I’m particularly excited to see Jorge & Anfisa again.  I’m not a fan of this Danielle and Mohammed drama, though.  Still, I’ll be watching and waiting for this to start on June 25th!

Counting On (TLC)

Seriously, all I watch is guilty-pleasure TLC.  I kind of got sucked into this 19 Kids and Counting spinoff last season because Jinger’s relationship was just so engrossing!  She just seemed so daring by comparison to her sisters and it was interesting to watch.  I guess it’s inherently interesting that she’s the daring one.  Now with 19-year-old Joy’s wedding kicking off the season… I’ll be back for more on June 12th.

May ‘Grams

What a month it’s been!  This post is a little late because I took too much vlog footage last weekend… and I think I should have a lot for this weekend too, but you’ll have to stay tuned to see.

For now, let’s talk about May:

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[1] It’s hard to be home after Japan, but this view makes it easier! [2] Amanda and I stalk Christina on her class field trip to Boston. [3] The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in America. [4] South shore adventures & scouting spots for our engagement shots! [5] It’s not exactly Tsukiji omakase, but sushi is still my favorite. [6] Going so hard at the Uniqlo x Nintendo collection. [7] Loving plants so much lately. [8] My hometown girls before Diva & Deepan’s sangeet. [9] Their wedding was the best I’ve ever been to!

 

The New Cambridgeside

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Change is in the air!  It’s Memorial Day, unofficially ushering in the summer season!  If you’re a New Englander like me, you’ll know we got a big change in the weather last week– some sunshine!  I spent a beautiful, sunshine-y evening (isn’t it nice that the sun is still up at 7:00?) on the Charles River with my friends at Cambridgeside Galleria, where major changes are occurring!

I met my fiancé at Cambridgeside Galleria, so you could say I spend a lot of time there.  There’s a lot of construction right now as the whole mall gets a face lift!  I can’t wait to see what it’s like when it’s all done!  I got to go on a little scavenger hunt around the three levels of stores stopping by some of my favorites– Sunglasses Hut (will be returning for sunglasses now that I have my new prescription!), Sephora (might’ve dropped some money there), Banana Republic (need one of these phone-charger clutches by the way), and more!  Macy’s demo’ed Clinique’s Pop Liquid Matte Lip Color  and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it!

After some light shopping, we took to the sea! that dirty water.  If you’ve never seen Boston from the Charles before, I promise you, you’re doing it wrong.  Charles Riverboat Company provides the best view around!  It was a perfect night for it and I’m already looking for an excuse to do it again.

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It was a great kickoff to the season, and obviously I’ll be back for more shopping at Cambridgeside Galleria!

Steven Universe vol. 1

As soon as I started watching Steven Universe, I checked iTunes for the songs I loved.  The music in this show is AMAZING (like, I’m considering several tracks for our wedding) and I was so sad that I had to depend on Youtube for my Steven Universe tunes.  Thankfully, my prayers were answered and volume 1 of the soundtrack is coming out at the end of this week!

I’ve already pre-ordered and the track listing is phenomenal.  I thought I’d highlight some of my favorites for you today! (more…)